At 3M Monthly Users, KIN Has Outgrown the Forked Stellar Blockchain, Proposes Move to Solana

The Kin token, launched by the popular social messaging app – Kik – has been embroiled in controversy since its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in 2017.

While the crypto token has been dealing with a protracted legal battle with the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), there have been several technical issues at its core.

Kin conducted its ICO on the Ethereum blockchain but clarified that it would make use of Ethereum for security purposes while the transactions would be validated on Stellar blockchain.

Later, they forked the Stellar blockchain to create a modified chain of their own. However, the hard-forked stellar chain is now proving inadequate for the Kin cryptocurrency. As a result, the digital currency would migrate to Solana blockchain in the coming month.

Kin also shared an improvement proposal regarding its move to the Solana blockchain, suggesting that while its operations saw great scalability on the forked stellar chain. There are certain limitations that have caused the disruption in running the network operations smoothly and thus they have decided to make a move to Solana.

Pointing to the issues they are facing on the forked stellar chain, the proposal read:

“While Stellar offers most of the features needed to do basic functions like sending Kin between accounts, there is a limited amount of space for metadata on transactions.

Stellar allows up to 30 bytes of metadata (called a ‘memo’) per transaction, which is far short of what Kin needs to perform its basic functions”

Talking about the benefits of the Solana blockchain, the proposal read:

“Solana solves both the latency and the feature set problems. Solana uses a Proof of History consensus model, along with a number of other novel innovations that unlock significant improvement in throughput and latency.

Additionally, Solana would allow significantly more metadata in transactions since it has a Virtual Machine implementation, offering more flexibility.”

The Proposed Transition

In order for the transition to be possible, the majority of the Kin developers have to agree with the move. If enough developers agree, Solana could facilitate the transition in a matter of months. This transition could be completed by Jan. 7, 2021.

Tanner Philp, head of corporate development at Kik said that Kin ecosystem has registered a massive uptick in the number of users in the past 6 months, and a significant rise in the core metrics during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has lead to severe lockdowns across the globe.

During the beginning of March when the world started to realize the severity of the COVID-19, the total users who have spent Kin token were evaluated to be around 1.5 million, however, the number jumped almost three times to 4.4 million by April 20th.

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Author: James W

Does Craig Wright Have Access to Encrypted Satoshi Files With Private Keys for $7.5B in BTC?

The class-action lawsuit filed by the Kleiman Estate against Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator and former partner of late Dave Kleiman has seen several twists and turns with no definitive outcome.

Kleiman Estate is suing Wright to get access to the Bitcoin mined by Wright in partnership with Dave Kleiman, while Wright maintains there was no such partnership.

The latest twist in the case came from the Kleiman Estate, which now claims that Wright had access to the Encrypted Files believed to be those of Satoshi, which contains private keys associated with 820,000 Bitcoin. The Estate filed a new court document on 21st May claiming Wright has the access to Encrypted Files but he won’t do so since it contains clear evidence of his partnership with Dave.

The court document claimed that $1.6 million worth of Bitcoin has been spent from the addresses submitted to the court as a proof suggesting Wright has access to those private keys. It also points to the threats made by Wright about crashing the Bitcoin market, which is only possible by a large amount of dump in the market.

Craig Wright has since submitted a list of 16,404 BTC addresses to prove his claim of being the owner. However, Kleiman’s Estate claimed that this is one of the three batches of addresses which Wright has access to and the fact that a significant amount of BTC has been spent from these addresses “is incontrovertible evidence that Wright has either:

  • Submitted a fraudulent/incomplete list of his bitcoin as the CSW Filed List and/or
  • He does have access to a list of his bitcoin and the private keys associated with them and is lying.

The legal team further points out that Craig Wright throughout the case has lied, submitted misleading filings, caused obstruction with forged evidence are clear signs that Wright has access to the Encrypted files.

Kleiman Estate Lists Lies and Perjuries of Wright

The legal court document also lists four instances where Wright has either lied during the case or submitted forged documents. The one being just last week where Wright has submitted a forged divorce document.

The document claimed that Wright’s wife too lied about the claims of his husband since she is financially dependent on him and thus had clear reasons to do that. The document also claimed that she has lied in the past.

The Kleiman Estate in its legal filing also criticised the court for being soft on Wright and only putting sanctions despite him showing no respect for the legal procedure and the court, as evident from his continuous lying. They appealed to the court to take strict action against the accused to keep him in check. The court filings read:

“For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court issue an order pursuant to its inherent powers striking Dr. Wright’s Amended Answer and entering a default judgment against Dr. Wright.”

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Litecoin Users Can Choose to Use the Privacy Tech or Not After Mimblewimble Integration

  • Charlie Lee speaks on LTC’s Mimblewimble integration.
  • The hidden inflation on privacy chains.

In a recent interview, Charlie Lee, the Founder of Litecoin (LTC), talked about the current plans to integrate the Mimblewimble privacy mechanism on the blockchain. Lee answered several questions from LTC users including the several developmental concerns that may arise on the blockchain once implementation is complete.

Furthermore, Lee explained the concept of ‘hidden inflation’ that is common on privacy-based blockchain stating users wanting privacy will not care much about it.

Charlie Lee Speaks on LTC’s Mimblewimble Integration

Some of the questions focused on the future of LTC transactions and how to integrate the privacy features of Mimblewimble on the blockchain.

Users were curious about whether the normal blockchain will take precedence or the Mimblewimble-enabled chain. According to the planned privacy enhancements, users will be able to select on exchanges whether to carry out a privacy enhanced transaction or a public one.

Responding to the confusion building up, Lee said he has talked to several exchanges on the regulatory issues that surround the privacy enhanced transactions with most agreeing to go along with it. He further said,

“Initially the use of Litecoin post-MimbleWimble implementation will be difficult; it’s going to be a learning curve. Not all wallets will support it from the start[…] Since it is a soft fork, the whole ecosystem won’t need to care about it until they want to.”

Lee, however, believes the current upgrades will benefit Litecoin’s privacy as a coin stating the privacy features may draw more users to LTC.

The Hidden Inflation on Privacy Chains

In what has become a raging topic across the privacy coins communities, Charlie said “hidden inflation” on privacy coins may not affect users willing to own privacy enhanced crypto.

In March, crypto analyst and developer, Tim Ruffing, exposed that there may be a bug on all privacy blockchains cryptography that makes “inflation undetectable” on the blockchain.

While this makes the blockchain more susceptible to attacks from hackers who may inflate the cash in the system, Lee believes this is a risk privacy-focused users are willing to take. On how Litecoin aims to prevent such an attack Lee said:

“The good thing about our ecosystem is the extension block for Litecoin; it would be kind of isolated by itself. So even if something happens to that, it won’t infiltrate the main chain because one won’t be able to withdraw more coins.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

DapperLabs’ CryptoKitties Moves From Ethereum To Its Custom Made Flow Blockchain

  • CryptoKitties, one of the most popular crypto collectable games developed by Dapper labs is all set to make its move to the Flow blockchain from its current platform Ethereum.

CryptoKitties made headlines when it partnered with the NBA to create digital collectables for the NBA and players. It also crashed the Ethereum network when it was launched back in 2017. The game would remain interoperable with Ethereum but it would move to flow with new upgrades and game features.

The new features would include animated 3D attributes, scalable nature due to the custom-built blockchain and users could also use the digital assets of the game in other games on the Flow blockchain.

While scalability was one of the key reasons behind the move to Flow, the CEO of Dapper Labs, Roham Gharegozlou, also mentioned that the platform was getting costlier for generating new cats in the game. The CEO further explained:

“Everyone on Ethereum will be able to take their cat to Flow. They’ll get upgraded powers, and will be able to be used on all kinds of Flow applications. The vision we had with KittyVerse: Hats on Cats, Kitty Races…will be much easier to be created around the kitties, in a way that millions of people, hundreds of millions of people can actually play with.”

DapperLabs Aims to Make Digital Collectables A Valuable Asset

The move to Flow is seen as a small step towards a long term goal of making digital collectables mainstream and valuable. Dapper Labs aims to continue in its aim of providing its users with true in-game ownership, thanks to its underlying Non-fungible tokens. All of which can be traded, exchanged and used to play within the game and community.

Dapper Labs hopes that as development progresses, and people and developer communities realize the potential, more games with similar digital collectables will be launched on Flow, making it a complete ecosystem and a marketplace of its own.

In the past couple of months; in the run-up to the Flow launch, Dapper Labs made several new announcements and promotional events.

It also invited developers to its new platform PlayGround and created a new programming language called Cadence specifically meant to ease the process of developing new smart contracts for creating Non-Fungible Tokens on the Flow blockchain.

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Author: Silvia A

EOS-Based DeFi, Equilibrium, Adds Binance, Eosfinex to EOSDT Stablecoin Governance Council

  • Binance and Eosfinex, Bitfinex’s decentralized exchange, are some of the big names in crypto to join Equilibrium’s EOSDT stable coin governance committee.

According to official reports, the two companies joined the council alongside independent block producers, EOS Nation and EOS Cannon, to provide oversight over approval of contracts and amendments made on smart contracts on the EOSDT stablecoin blockchain.

Equilibrium is an EOS based open finance platform that offers similar capabilities to Maker platform with EOSDT similar to the DAI stablecoin. With the new governance team in place, Alex Melikhov, CEO of Equilibrium, said this will allow the network to fully utilize the features on EOS in his statement,

“One of the main advantages of EOS lies in updatable smart contract code. In other words you can migrate to new versions of your application seamlessly without hard stop of the whole system.”

Binance involvement in the governance of the Equilibrium chain will see the exchange oversee every smart contract on the platform, granting access to upgrades or rejecting them. However, the governance council regulations require at least two parties to give their consent before the smart contract is implemented.

“You can also consider it as establishing a four-eyed principle for Equilibrium’s EOSDT.”

The decision to add the new members was voted by the existing council members not only Equilibrium, Alex said. This is to ensure the best and most reliable participants in governance are chosen for the slots. Such decisions are uncommon on Ethereum DeFi platforms whereby the founders hold the admin keys of the protocol giving them absolute power over the system.

Equilibriums governance council, while not fully trustless, offers the blockchain “decentralization by creating a proof-of-authority framework which consists of trusted counterparts that are independent according to their background.” Alex further said,

“Instead of a single owner who can potentially do whatever they want there is a group of reputable and known ecosystem participants who bid their reputation on the integrity/relevance of these updates.”

While the verdict remains unknown on why Binance joined the governance council, the possibility of BNB being added as a backing asset to the EOSDT stablecoin has improved. According to one spokesperson from the largest crypto exchange, top management is looking forward to BNB getting added as collateral on the Equilibrium DeFi platform.

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Author: Lujan Odera

BitMEX Aims to Achieve ‘Near-Zero Downtime’ with ‘Aggressive’ Hiring After Major Outage

BitMEX has released the postmortem of the downtime it suffered on May 19 ensuring that “at no point during this event were any customer funds at risk,” and that no liquidations occurred while the exchange was offline.

The event resulted in 38,437 cancel-order instructions just 17 minutes before the resuming full functionality of the platform. Also, all the pending and new customer withdrawals were processed within 90 minutes of coming back online.

Working on improvements

As per its report, the exchange’s trading engine server “unexpectedly restarted” because of underlying hardware issues, which took the platform offline. After being recovered partially, it restarted a second time prompting the team to trigger a recovery procedure that utilized a new failover mechanism introduced earlier this year.

The whole ordeal took less than 2 hours while withdrawal wasn’t processed until an hour and a half after the trading resume successfully.

The crypto derivatives platform says it is taking steps to minimize the risk of any downtime which involves making architectural improvements so that the impact of hardware/software failures on the platform is reduced.

They have already replaced the technology behind its primary database that improves recovery times 4x and opens opportunities to scale it 15x over the next few months.

BitMEX is also growing its teams “aggressively” with most of its positions that involve data engineer, developer, analysts, and AML operations managers among others for primarily Hong Kong, Singapore, and San Francisco locations.

Trying to live up to the expectations

BitMEX’s market share has been declining ever since the March sell-off when the crypto derivatives platform reportedly suffered two DoS attacks and the price of bitcoin went down to $3,600 on it and could have crashed to zero, compared to $3,800 on other exchanges.

But still when BitMEX that offers 100x leverage went down, the market felt the effects as Crypto Twitter came alive.

“The burden of being on top. And no guarantee it lasts forever. This is just complacency,” said trader Ledger Status.

While Binance has been capturing its market share, BitMEX’s BTC balance also took a hit and diminished by 32% since then, although exchanges’ bitcoin balance has been on a downtrend on almost all the exchanges.

“The cryptocurrency industry has come a long way in a short amount of time. We know that the expectations on us have risen and we’re working 24/7 to further improve the resiliency of our platform,” said the company which aims to achieve “near zero down-time.”

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Author: AnTy

Kin Releases its Transparency Report, Revealing Foundation Budgets and Structure

The Kin Foundation that’s behind the social messaging app Kik has been involved in a long-drawn out legal battle with the US Security and Exchange Commission over the distribution of its Kin token.

Kik created the Kin token back in 2017.

The SEC alleged that Kin tokens fall under a Security bracket, and thus it must be registered with the regulatory body before the sale. The total market supply of Kin token has been kept at 10 trillion out of which 1.45 trillion are currently in circulation.

The Kin Foundation has now released a transparency report in association with the Messari group revealing crucial financial details. The transparency report was published on the 21st of May, and gave a glimpse at the operation of the Kin token.

The report revealed that the foundation drafts their budget one year in advance, which determines what funding would go towards developers, user grants, node incentives, and marketing and operations.

The Kin Foundation is currently headed by a two-member board consisting of Ted Livingston, the CEO of Kik Interactive and William Mougayar, author of “The Business Blockchain.” The report further revealed that the board members are selected annually by the members along with a Kin Representative who acts as a medium for the developer community and token holders.

The foundation currently has only one Representative in the form of Matt Hannam, however, the foundation plans to add a couple more representatives in the coming year. The Kin foundation also comprises of an informal community of 10 members who look over the kin rewards and disagreements.

The report revealed that around 28 million users have acquired kin from various sources since its creation in 2017 and around 300 million kin was spent per day this year alone.

The Legal Battle Over Security Tag

The United States is counted among nations with a tough regulatory stance towards crypto. This is because any security token offering which promises a profit on the token over a course of time need to be registered with the SEC. The same issue has led to the halt and several postponements of Telegram’s TON blockchain and GRAM token issuance. The Kin Foundation has maintained, since the beginning that,

“the SEC cannot meet its burden to prove that Kin purchasers were primarily led to expect profits from the managerial efforts of others.”

The foundation also believes that the SEC’s legal case against them is heavily inspired by the Telegram case. Eileen Lyon, Kik’s general counsel said:

“Our take on the SEC’s opposition is that it relies heavily on the recent Telegram case, which we think was poorly reasoned and wrongly decided.”

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Author: James W

Bitcoin Pizza Day Celebrates its 10th Anniversary; 10,000 BTC for Two Pizzas is Now Worth $90M

May 22 is known as the Bitcoin Pizza Day after computer programmer Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 bitcoins for two delivered Papa John’s pizzas in 2010.

Being one of the earliest well-known purchases in the history of Bitcoin makes it an iconic day. Those 10,000 BTC that has been offered for two large pizzas worth $40 is now worth about $90 million.

Hanyecz organized his pizza offer on bitcointalk forum,

“You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place, but what I’m aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins where I don’t have to order or prepare it myself, kind of like ordering a ‘breakfast platter’ at a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you’re happy!”

In his first television interview with CBS News last year, Hanyecz shared,

“I honestly thought it would be really cool if I could say, ‘Hey, I just traded this, you know, open source internet money for a real world good.”

But Hanyecz didn’t stop after the first real-word transaction that involved cryptocurrency, he continued spending Bitcoin.

He minted and spent about 100,000 BTC in all, which would have been now worth more than $900 million, much of it on pizza, Hanyecz shared on “60 Minutes.”

2nd post by Hanyecz for another “open offer.” He also got the pizza on May 22nd.

Despite the price of bitcoin skyrocketing, Hanyecz isn’t really phased out about his deal as he told the NY Times in 2014,

“It wasn’t like Bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool. No one knew it was going to get so big.”

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Author: AnTy

Albania’s Parliament Approves ‘Comprehensive’ Crypto Bill into Law, Joining France and Malta

  • Albania’s parliament has signed a new ‘comprehensive’ crypto bill into law on May 21 as part of its approach towards a legal framework for the industry.
  • It will now join the likes of Malta and France among the countries with the most advanced crypto laws in Europe.

The bill was first introduced to Albania’s Committee of Economy back in 2019 in a bid to create legislation around crypto activities. Dubbed the ‘law on Financial Markets Based on the Technology of Distributed Ledgers’, it was approved yesterday with a majority of 88 votes against 16 with only 3 in absentia.

The New Albania Crypto Law

Anila Denaj, Albania’s Minister of Finance and Economy, is the one who presented the draft law. Following the milestone, she highlighted that:

“The draft law aims to regulate the conditions for licensing, exercising the activity of operators and stock exchanges and supervising them, as well as preventing abusive practices in the market, where severe fines are stipulated for anyone who violates the provisions of the law.”

Notably, the law will also be used to combat money laundering, which has thrived in the crypto market in recent years. In fact, International regulatory bodies like the FATF have already implemented regulations such as the ‘travel rule‘ to ensure proper KYC/AML practices in crypto operations.

Crypto Law Advancements

This volatile market remains quite grey in most parts of the world. However, some countries such as Japan have been touted as leaders in crypto regulatory frameworks.

The Asian superpower recognized Bitcoin and other digital assets to be legal as early as April 2017. In addition, crypto exchanges are also legal provided they register with the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Other than Japan, the European Union also introduced the 5AMLD (Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive) which came into force in early 2020.

These advanced guidelines basically provide clarity on the ambiguity that existed within digital asset logistics. Crypto Exchanges and digital wallets are also highlighted as part of the exposure avenues to money laundering activities.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Bitcoin Stolen in 2016 $72 Million Bitfinex Hack Moving

Some of the stolen BTC during the $72 million hack of crypto exchange Bitfinex in 2016 has been just moved.

Whale Alert that tracks large movements of top cryptocurrencies reported that 28.3 BTC worth more than $255k has been moved to an unknown wallet.

Four years back, Bitfinex lost 120,000 BTC worth $72 million, when the price of bitcoin was about $600. Today, with each BTC at $9,160, this stash is now worth more than $1 billion.

This isn’t the first time that these hackers are moving their funds. Back in June, last year about 185 BTC were transferred to unknown addresses, at that time BTC price was up over 60% YTD at around $10,000. Then in August, 30 BTC were also moved.

Now, just as happens with large transfers, the crypto community fears the worst.

One twitter user said, “If btc does not crash to sub 4k in 1 month, I’ll delete my twitter.”

Large amounts of Bitcoin on the move surely affects the price as happened on May 10. The BTC price fell about 16% that day after a large deposit took place on Gemini; but that deposit was “abnormally” large at 2,500 BTC unlike just over 28 BTC.

Such kind of big deposits result in heightened activity on the exchange where they were made but also triggers market sell on other exchanges as well. This causes a significant increase in trade volume across all exchanges, resulting in a drop in Bitcoin’s price.

However, at times, relatively small and few orders can also have a significant impact on liquidity across many major exchanges.

Just this week, there was speculation led sell-off that resulted in a brief decline of about 7% in BTC price.

It was after Whale Alert reported that 50 Bitcoin had been moved from a wallet dormant since February 2009. Whale Alert suggested it might have been bitcoin’s pseudo-anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto who moved the coins, triggering the panic among the market, but as we reported it was very unlikely.

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Author: AnTy